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What Are the Consequences of Boating Under the Influence in Wisconsin?

Posted on in OWI

Oconomowoc BUI defense attorney

After several long months of winter weather, summer has finally arrived in Wisconsin. Even though this summer might look a little different than what we are used to, it is safe to assume that most people will attempt to continue with summertime activities, such as boating. In Wisconsin, boating is a favorite pastime for many. What some may not realize, however, is that boats fall under many of the same laws that other motor vehicles do -- especially when it comes to operating them while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Therefore, it is important to understand the legal penalties for this type of criminal offense.

Dangers of Alcohol and Boating

Alcohol alters your perceptions of the world around you, which is why it is so dangerous to drive while under the influence. Boating is no exception. Alcohol is notorious for delaying reaction time and causing balance issues, both of which can already be exacerbated on a boat because of the vibrations and waves in the water. Drugs or alcohol can also impair your vision and depth perception, which is critical when navigating any type of watercraft. 

Wisconsin BUI Laws

Boating under the influence laws in Wisconsin are actually rather similar to laws pertaining to other motor vehicles. Like in cars and other terrestrial vehicles, you are prohibited from having any detectable amount of a controlled substance or a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.08 percent if you are operating a boat. For those operating a commercial boat, you are not permitted to have a BAC of more than 0.04 percent.

Penalties for BUI depend on whether or not you have had a BUI in the past. If this is your first offense, you can face up to a $300 fine. If this is your second offense within five years of the first offense, you may face up to $1,000 in fines and possible jail time. A third offense could result in up to $2,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.

Contact a Waukesha County Criminal Defense Attorney 

Boating can be a great summer activity on any of Wisconsin’s many lakes and rivers, but there are certain maritime laws that must be followed. Alcohol often comes hand-in-hand with having a good time and hanging out with friends, but operating a boat while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. If you have been charged with a BUI, you should immediately contact a Brookfield BUI defense lawyer. At Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we will do everything in our power to avoid a conviction on your record. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 262-232-6699.




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